The Kitchener Rangers have been a Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Saturday, in Guelph against the Storm, Mr. Hyde reared his ugly head.
The Storm scored three times in the first period, and routed the Rangers 5-3, on a night Guelph retired former captain Ryan Callahan's Number 24 to the rafters.
“Disappointing isn't a strong enough word,” said head coach Chris Dennis of his team's inconsistency of late. “We need consistent effort from our top people to lead the way every night. When we get that, we're good. And when we don't, we get this. We need a more consistent effort from our better players every game.”
The Rangers haven't been able to ring together more than two wins since their four game win streak nine games ago. They've also been unable to stop the bleeding, always losing back-to-back games.
“Can't really explain it,” said Captain Francesco Pinelli. “Sometimes we show up to play, and sometimes we don't. We have to eliminate those bad games.”
“The minute we get ahead of ourselves and think we're good, we get away from what's done the job for us,” said the frustrated head coach. “Until the guys in that room decide they want to be taken seriously, we'll continue to bounce around like this.”
For the second game in a row, Pinelli sat for 10 minutes thanks to a mouthguard violation. It's a rule the league has sent a memo to teams, stating they're looking to crack down on it.
Marco Costantini started the game, after missing Friday's match because of an illness. He was pulled after giving up five goals on 22 shots. Dennis confirmed he wasn't 100 per cent.
Kitchener only mustered one shot in the third period Friday, against North Bay. They followed it up, with only two shots in the first period, on the road in Guelph.
“There's no system, there's no structure, there's no talking about that. That is completely an effort thing,” said Dennis. “We got out-competed, we got out-worked, and we paid for it.”
Marcus Vandenberg came into the game late in the second period, and stopped seven shots.
The Rangers are back at home this afternoon, hosting the Windsor Spitfires. The Harris Law Pregame Show begins at 5:30 p.m.